Name: Maneesha Ruia
Main & Side Hustle: “Designer by nature and profession.”
Favorite Vodka Cocktail: Dirty Martini…shaken not stirred!
During my turbulent New York life, I have met many inspirational women I have been very fortunate to work with. Maneesha Ruia is no exception. Extremely hard-working, dedicated, and passionate, Maneesha works around the clock between Mumbai, New York, and Paris. This early bird never misses an e-mail or text from a client or co-worker, and does everything with a smile on her face. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that her luxurious shawl brand “Maneesha Ruia,” launched in March 2013, spread out globally in merely three years. It now serves more than 100 customers and covers four continents.
Born and brought up in Mumbai, India, Maneesha (just like her scarves!) is a product of a fast metropolitan city. “Mumbai buzzes with larger than life dreams of the youth of a vibrant country,” poetically states Maneesha, who moved to New York at a young age to study and work. Similarly to New York, Mumbai according to Maneesha, is the ultimate cosmopolitan city, known for splendid art, and cultural dynamism. “They tie together to become the utmost source of inspiration and creativity,” she adds dreamily. Having spent a greater part of her adult life in New York, Maneesha combines Indian artisanal luxury with international business acumen.
Kala: Tell us about your background.
Maneesha: Arts… Applied Art and Fine Arts in Mumbai and then Parsons in New York where I learned to work on different mediums like oils, acrylics, glass, and pottery.
How did you get into the garment business?
I was involved in designing and manufacturing various accessories, such as handbags, scarves, garments, etc. for a private label. The success and applaud I received gave me the push to create and launch my own label.
Has it always been your dream job and passion?
Creativity forms the soul. The process of an idea taking shape and becoming a tangible product is exhilarating to me. It is the ultimate expression of joy when something comes to life.
Describe and highs and the lows of your job.
The highs is to see a new creation coming to life. The lows are just… challenges which can be changed to victories!
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
The fact that I love what I do!
Describe a typical day in your life.
It varies between designing, production and marketing. Traveling is a large part of my life.
To see the brand in lights.
What inspires you?
Passion, life and travel. Beauty and creativity in every nature- and man-made item.
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
The brand, despite its success and rapid growth, is still evolving. Besides scarves and shawls, we are in the process of diversifying our brand into other lines. That can give our discerning customers a wider choice of items falling into an affordable luxury concept, while simultaneously giving the brand a more exponential growth.
What are your hobbies / What do you do in your leisure time?
Haha… Not sure what “leisure time” means in the last three years, but I love music, the ocean, cooking, eating, painting and travel. My recent years have been chaotic, but fun.
Ideal Saturday night.
Spend time with people I care about and enjoy – doesn’t matter where and what.
Advice from one Made Real woman to another.
Follow your instinct, your passion, your drive and live. Remember to love and respect everyone that you have the fortune to cross paths with and walk away from the ones that don’t return the same. Work hard, and play even harder!